Okay, so here’s the deal.

My name is Maxine. I have a righteous mane of hair, I travel and forget my belongings in hotel bathrooms constantly, I like books and boots and I can’t roast a chicken for shit.

I have a misbehaving dog who may or may not get me deep into a veeeeeeerrrrrry expensive lawsuit someday (biting a baby on the face or something) and a boyfriend who doesn’t believe in using soap because it’s “cheating.” I live in Key West, land of drag queens and quart-size cocktails, and I deal with a perpetual risk of being run over while on my bicycle because I am a flighty, swerving, hot mess in a dress.

But mainly,  I like talking about skin care and beauty.

I like it so much that if you let me, I’ll talk to you about it for days. Months, even. There are people who asked me to recommend some mascara like 2 years ago and they’re going to have to change their numbers soon because I will straight up die before I stop extolling the virtues of tube mascara vs. waterproof vs. primer-based vs. navy blue. Okay? And once I die I’m going to set up shop in Hell, thrusting tiny samples of the latest non-clumping vibrating superblack falsie-looking brand on every poor soul who comes within twenty feet of me. Because yes, these are my demons, and I want them to have good elasticity in their 40’s.

It’s a sickness, I am sick.

I’m into products and reviews and panels and papers and rumors and prescriptions and arguments and rituals and theories and old wive’s tales and publications and videos and satanic rites and sky writing and articles and basically anything that somehow involves beauty, of any kind, ever. I’m a fan. I’m Aniston-level, “laser-porn” lunatic obsessed. I will put bird poop on my face if there is evidence to support it making me look….better. Somehow. Brighter, maybe? Do birds have great skin? More research needs to be done. Round up the bird scientists.

A few of you asked me to share my knowledge, which I have accumulated over the years* after having struggled with a bevy of skin issues that are equally common and annoying. (*this is the moment where I make a cheesy beauty joke like “How many years? A lady never tells her age– and a good eye cream doesn’t, either!” Literally the worst.)

I’ve seen my fair share of dermatologists and estheticians and makeup artists and specialists and homeopathic “healers” and bitchy Italian pharmacists and rich, taut-cheeked socialites and I’ve read endless publications on everything involving the epidermis and all the weird things you can do to it (Vampire facial, anyone? No but seriously.) I have continued to feed what I consider to be an embarrassingly obsessive skin care hobby for as long as I can remember. And you know what? Fuck it. There are worse things in life. I don’t kill prostitutes, I don’t shoot heroin into my butt, I don’t watch angry humiliation porn and I don’t talk about owning a horse like it’s a life-affirming choice. This is my addiction, and I’m okay with it.

japanese skin care

This shit is my pornography.

And okay, it’s not exactly a noble pursuit, of that I am FOR SURE aware. I could have used the space in my brain currently occupied with cotton balls soaked in green tea toner to store something useful. I could have learned to knit scarves for the….perennially cold, or whatever.  I could have memorized a thesaurus, I could have learned chess. (Side note: I feel SO GUILTY about not knowing how to play chess. Mainly because I’ve technically “learned” how to play like 6 times, but I keep forgetting and then that space in my head gets taken up by other pointless bullshit, like the pros and cons of a higher strength retinoid. Does anyone else feel this pressure? This intense, chess-related pressure? Drop me a line, we can start some kind of support group.)

The point is, I never learn chess, in the end. Someone teaches me, but instead of remembering the rules I store useless, endless knowledge about beauty products and trends and innovations and phases and recalls and bullshit, so much bullshit it’s insane. I can’t remember how to cross multiply and I can’t remember the lyrics to that song, and probably can’t remember when it’s your birthday, but if they came out with a laser two years ago that boosts collagen better than Thermage, I REMEMBER. It’s my Spiderman curse. With great power comes great responsibility to take care of your under-eye area.


Look at this idiot! Take those bananas off your face and put them in a blended rum drink IMMEDIATELY! This is so incredibly dumb, you look like a summer salad. I will never tell you to put bananas on your face. Hand-on-heart.

Heads up: I try new products more often than I try new kinds of kale, or lululemon medium-impact sports tanks, or oxygen bars, or herbal teas, or core workouts, or whatever good-for-you-Self-magazine-trend I’m supposed to be trying. I don’t have ANY interest in vegan cooking, I am legitimately terrified of acupuncture, and I’d cross the street to avoid a conversation about yoga. I get it, you’re flexible. You can put your foot in your own fucking armpit. Here’s your parade.

I don’t really want to talk about many, many things that are supposed to be good for you, mainly because I think most of it is pretty fucking obvious and talking about it usually leaves me feeling hugely guilty that I don’t make my own cheese and run Tough Mudder every year, you know? (Also: What is up with Tough Mudder? WHY DO PEOPLE DO THESE THINGS, YOU ARE NOT IN THE MARINES WHY ARE YOU RUNNING THROUGH FIRE, SOMEONE EXPLAIN IT TO ME, PLEASE.) I am lackadaisical about many, many aspects of my life and my livelihood– I mean, I eat candy, for Christ’s sake. And not the good kind made from beets. The kind made from plastic and baby tears and corn, big giant piles of corn. I don’t give a shit about baby tears!

But I do give a shit about skin care. I give so many shits it’s outrageous.

yoga bitch

Who are these chicks? Who does yoga while smiling pleasantly in a field of overgrown grass? WHO ARE YOU?

Look elsewhere for a blogger who will tell you which farm-fresh chocolate milk is the best post-workout fuel–and don’t get me wrong, that stuff is dope, I’ve tried it, but I don’t want to talk about it because I think it’s fucking BORING compared to talking about whether or not keratin treatments really do give you cancer. Or about eyeshadow primer. Oh god, the importance of eyeshadow primer. I’m vacuous, whatever– because really, there are like a zillion great blogs out there that tell you what 5k’s are the most fun to run, and which dope stir-fry’s are also good for you, and how to make your upper arm muscles look like you’re smuggling hard baguettes under your sweaters. Go read them (I totally do, are you kidding me? I need all the arm help I can get, batwings are my NIGHTMARE) and get your deep lunges on, get your bikram yoga sweat on, do you. DO YOU, girl. But I’ll be over here doing me, telling you what lipstain lasts the longest. (It’s YSL. I hope you didn’t just come here to find that out, but if you did: peace.)

I’m not going to lie, being a lady is no fucking joke, and you have every right to do whatever it is that makes you feel precious and strong and Xena-like. Follow ZooBorns. (Guilty.) Obsess over baking sites that teach you how to make cupcakes shaped like past presidents. Read a zillion mommy-blogs about breast-feeding while on Venus. Do what feels right for you. The internet is our freespace. Be free in it.

But if you want to know what this chick recommends for a t-zone treatment that delivers visible results, stick around. If you are interested in face creams and body creams and booty creams, read on. (Egg creams: go elsewhere.)  If you want to talk about pores, SO DO I. If you want to get rid of that weird patch of scaly skin on your calf that gets red and itchy in winter and you DON’T want a steroid because that is bonkers, come at me. If you feel bad about your neck, read Ephron. If you want to know what to do to your neck NOW to avoid hating it LATER, I’m here for you.

Let’s go on this crazy, superficial journey together, baby.

Take those bananas off your face first, though, you look fucking ridiculous.



3 thoughts on “LET’S DO THIS, BITCHES

  1. Mr. Pudgy says:

    I have not been this excited since they tried to make the Golden Compass, and it sucked, and I barely, barely recovered, and I know you won’t do that to me, and oh my goodness, I’ve never been this happy on the internet.

  2. I never learned how to play chess, either. I mean, I tried learning like four times (one time was when I was babysitting and my five year old charge taught me), I even got a book from the library. But I guess that space in my brain ends up getting filled with other nonsense, like the names and alliances of the Real Housewives and the best mud masks to be found at the drugstore (Queen Helene’s Mint Julep!).

    • maxinelk says:

      LOVE ME some Queen Helene’s….I have probably spent a cumulative three months total with that glorious green stuff on my face. Slumber party necessity for sure.

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